About professional membership

About professional membership

Achieving professional membership of the CIPD demonstrates that you meet the rigorous criteria and professional standards for best practice. It showcases your ability to create a real impact in the workplace, and to make a difference to an organisation’s strategy and its people. Above all, it emphasises a commitment to your continuing professional development and a desire to stay current.

Professional membership is open to both HR generalists and specialists. It's an achievement to be proud of, as it demonstrates that you meet CIPD’s rigorous criteria and standards for best practice in HR.

Professional membership is more than achieving a qualification. It also emphasises your commitment to continuing professional development and a desire to stay current.

There are three levels of professional membership

  • Associate member (Assoc CIPD) - you are typically providing professional advice to managers across the business and supporting the HR function.

  • Chartered Member (Chartered MCIPD) - you are typically managing, developing and implementing HR policies that support organisational objectives.

  • Chartered Fellow (Chartered FCIPD) - you are typically leading the development of strategic HR plans that drive sustained business performance.

    In addition there is Chartered Companion, which is available by invitation only. 

Benefits of professional membership

  • Gain a competitive edge
    Professional membership and recognition benchmarked against industry standards creates great opportunities to further your career.

  • Raise your profile with employers, clients and peers
    Professional membership demonstrates that you have a proven track record of making a postive impact in the workplace.

  • Showcase your professional credentials
    Professional membership entitles you to use a professional designation after your name.

How to become a CIPD professional member

You can achieve professional membership through either of the following routes:

  • By studying a CIPD qualification
    Successful completion of a CIPD accredited Certificate or Diploma will lead to Associate membership – the first level of CIPD professional membership. Successful completion of a recognised postgraduate-level qualification can lead to Chartered membership, providing you have the relevant experience.

    Find out more about CIPD qualifications
  • Through Experience Assessment
    Our direct route into professional membership is a straightforward way for you to use your experience to achieve recognition for your HR achievements. Experience Assessment is for HR generalists and specialists across all levels. It caters specifically for those who don't hold the required CIPD qualification and want their HR credentials recognised against the industry standard.

    Find out more about Experience Assessment

Academic membership

If you’re working in the academic arena, then Academic membership is an alternative way to achieve professional membership (Academic Fellow, Academic Member or Academic Associate).

Other levels of membership

If you are interested in other levels of membership please see the information here.


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Experience Assessment

Experience Assessment

A straightforward way to achieve industry recognition for your HR achievements and benefit from professional membership of the CIPD.

Watch the video overview


Important update on Associate membership

CIPD has announced changes to Associate membership.